Import of number of specialist doctors and pay package not specified yet: Lyonpo Tandin

While the intake of specialists from Bangladesh was agreed during the visit of Prime Minister during his recent visit in Bangladesh, the number of intake and pay package is yet to be specified said the foreign minister Lyonpo (Dr) Tandin Dorji during question hour session in parliament yesterday.

Kanglung-Samkhar MP Dr. Samdrup R. Wangchuk said as per the number of doctors the government is going to hire from Bangladesh and the pay package the total salary in a year would come to around 98mn. He said instead of hiring specialists from outside, the money can be used to train national doctors or make use of services specialists who left the job, which will be a long term solution. He questioned the government’s capacity to hire the specialists from outside in future if long term solution is not made.

“Government may change but hospital will remain throughout. Long term instead of short term measure must be taken due to huge financial implication for hiring from outside,” said the MP.

Stating the need of hiring specialists, Lyonpo Tandin said the only solution to solve the current issue would be hiring the specialists from outside. “Firstly, we have not specified the number of specialist we are going to hire so we are yet to come on the pay package because there are lots of factors, however, the more important issue to be resolved for the interim period at the moment is to hire doctors which we did.”

While training doctors in country could be long-term solution, he said it would be impossible to provide efficient health service if the interim measure is not taken. “We don’t have a single specialist in some departments like radiology, neonatology and emergency,” said the minister.

On the pay package, he said the policy of hiring was since the year 1990 where specialists were paid much higher scale since then.

“Despite the high package we were not successful at getting specialists which is why it was increased from  $1,500 to $2,500  and then $3,500”. He said the government is just continuing the trend as a measure to solve the current issue.

He said at the same time, it remains important to continue training doctors inside and outside the country. “Increasing the number of slots for the MBBS could also be another measure to solve the problem as a long term solution.” He added a separate health policy is needed which will be tabled in the next parliament session.

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